This is quite important. MRSC have unilaterally decided, without asking anyone in the shire, but under instruction from Regional Development Victoria, to build a ‘conference centre’ next to Hanging Rock. Bugger the owls and wallabies, apparently we need another underperforming accommodation venue in the Macedon Ranges. If this annoys you more than somewhat, get in the councillors’ ears. Phone or write. http://www.mrsc.vic.gov.au/Council_the_Region/About_Council/Councillors_Wards
They’re making a decision on it this evening, so the sooner the better.
You may have seen an advertisement in ‘The New Woodend Star’ current issue to do with the “Davies Hill” (site? as in “building site”?) familiarization walkarounds that Stuart Bonnington, Rory “Mr Villawood” Costelloe’s ‘man on the spot’, is organising – scheduled for the next three Saturdays – 11am to 12pm tomorrow, 1pm – 2pm next Saturday the 17th, and 3pm – 4pm on the 24th.
Just past the front of the golf course on the left of the Avenue of Honour, going out of town. No doubt there’ll be signs. Maybe balloons and streamers.
Now is a chance to go along and ask him some hard questions. There’ll be other skeptics and anti-development folk there, along with a rumoured Villawood ‘rent-a-crowd’/astroturfers. Even the press.
Stuart says wear gumboots. Waders may be in order.
Here’s some ideas to start with. Here also is something written a while back, on the same topic.
If you go, ask to be taken to the very back of the property, behind the golf course. A really nice little patch of intact woodland.
- How much is the proposed Gregory St extension road access up the 5 Mile Creek escarpment, across the 5 Mile Creek floodplain going to cost? (estimates range from 1.5 – 2.5 MILLION dollars). Who is going to pay for that? Have you consulted with any environmentalists and engineers to see how that will affect flooding of the town, and the aquatic ecology of the creek – with what will effectively be a concrete dam wall backing up floodwater? How have you squared the massive, intrusive and damaging excavation necessary on the escarpment for this road (at the back of the Golf course) with the Environmental Protection and Significant Landscape Overlays that exist on this land?
- What have you promised Brian Gedge, who owns part of the floodplain?
- Where will the stormwater (and sewage overflow) go from any paved surfaces that are built? The ‘wetlands’ proposed are inadequate for the job, and will further pollute a water catchment.
- Why are you promoting a development that is contrary to planning recommendations for this land? The C84 Amendment panel report (expert comments on the same here & link to the document) recommended that any views from the Avenue of Honour across the land not be obstructed nor changed. Why do you think that you know better?
- How much ‘upgrading’ of quiet and pleasant streets on the west side of town(into noisy and unpleasant streets) will be necessary to handle 600+ extra cars coming and going into Woodend daily? Will you pay for this?
- What about the number 2 road access point onto the Avenue of Honour? How many trees will you take out for this?
- Why did Braemar College give you the flick?
- Can I play and/or sing “Big Yellow Taxi” by Joni Mitchell in front of your office every day from now on?
- Why did you originally propose 1000 houses to go on this land? Why did you drop it to 600? Why are you now only proposing under 300? What will all the other land be used for? Will this ever be developed? Is this merely “Stage One” of your suburban development?
- Will Council have to manage all the ‘open space’ that you propose to donate to the shire? They can barely manage what we have already, even with volunteer help.
- What will be the expected return that Villawood hopes to receive from their purchase and development of this land? Is it true that is in the region of over 12 times what you paid for it?
- Why do you expect that this land will be rezoned, just because you want it to be? Why are you ignoring/downplaying the ESO, the VPO, the RCZ and SLO applied to this land? Overview, explanation of the TLAs, and map.
- Why are your local boosters muddying and distorting the figures of demand for land and housing in the town – and ignoring the fact that 55% of Woodend residents, in any 5 year period, are new ones, yet population only grows at less than the Victorian regional average, not the average for large regional towns, as your allies and apologists are spruiking? Why do you insist that the market for properties in the town is much larger than it actually is? Why do we need a massive new housing estate?
There’s plenty more questions that could be asked, including ones around the dubious carpetbagging of the footy club, why they are giving money to Rotary for the Racecourse Reserve exercise track, and others – ‘buying their way in’.
Go if you can – it’ll show what people in this town REALLY want.
No VillaWoodend is a confederation of Woodend and Macedon Ranges residents, visitors, supporters and fans who strongly oppose the form, scale and footprint of residential housing development proposed by large property developers for the Shire of the Macedon Ranges – Villawood Properties’ Golf Course Hill (“Davies’ Hill”) development proposal:
We do not want our town, nor any other, to become a copy of an outer suburb of a large city:
Villawood Properties and their associates have purchased 522 acres of land to the west of the Avenue of Honour in Woodend, Victoria, and intend a subdivision of more than 650 dwelling sites upon it. This is contrary to and in defiance of the Macedon Ranges Shire Council’s Settlement Strategy for the town, and to most people already resident in Woodend’s wishes for their home.
Nearly every essential service in Woodend will become over-stressed – nearly everything in and about the centre of town will change in rapid succession to cope with the rapid influx of approximately 2000 new residents.
Villawood are not proposing to plan or build any new infrastructure to cope with this massive population increase. When questioned, their standard response is “services will be provided by the council”, or ” . . . the relevant authority (VLine, VicRoads, DHS, Department of Education, Western Water, etc.)”
If Villawood succeed in this, then a precedent will be set for any other such proposal – there will be a path laid for Woodend to become exactly what Cranbourne, or Melton have become.
If you want to keep the places in the pictures above as they are, and know and love where they are taken from, and what of, you’ll want to protect them.
If you don’t want similar things to the pictures at the top to appear in your town, then you’ll want to resist them.
You know what to do.